John Sheedy

Screen & Photography

Mrs McCutcheon

MRS MCCUTCHEON is a heartfelt coming-of-age story about Tom – a 10-year-old who prefers the name Mrs McCutcheon – as he embarks on a journey of self-discovery, we learn about friendship and the bravery of finding our place in the world.

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Having always felt he was born in the wrong body, 10-year-old Tom chooses the name Mrs McCutcheon rather than the name he was given at birth; he also prefers the flow of a dress rather than the cut of a pant. Now at his third school Tom is having trouble settling in and finding acceptance from his newfound peers – except for Trevor, a tough little charmer who also suffers prejudice due to what he wears on his skin – his Aboriginal heritage. With the school dance only days away Tom is thrust on a journey of self-discovery and sacrifices to find his own place in the world. Be prepared for a courageous ending that might just revolutionise school dances forever!

Mrs McCutcheon is a romantic comedy with a big heart. It’s a story about a little boy trying to get the world around him to accept who he is. The film’s central characters feel isolated and unsupported in environments that reflect the complete opposite, a schoolroom that is exploding in fairground colours of craft work, paintings, books and fish; a home that is saturated with fresh floral arrangements on a daily basis.

Mrs McCutcheon is written by the talented Western Australian filmmaker Ben Young and directed by multi-award-winning theatre director John Sheedy, in his first foray into the world of film. Despite its short format and streamlined production, it features a stellar creative team and cast with vast experience in the art of moving storytelling. But more important than that, Mrs McCutcheon aims to give voice to the thousands of trans and gender diverse children.

As you may or may not be aware, Gender Dysphoria in Children is a formal diagnosis identified by psychologists and physicians to describe children who experience significant discontent with their biological sex, assigned gender, or both. It usually manifests during early childhood and always does so well before puberty. Most children struggle with endemic bullying from their school peers, surrounding community and even within their own family unit. There are currently 14.8 million trans and gender diverse children in the world and we hope to offer support to them, their family and friends and to attempt to educate the world by throwing a pulsing light on the topic and celebrate its positives and vulnerabilities. This short little film has some big ambitions to make a significant positive impact on their lives. But we can’t do it without you!

As well as investing our own funds to take the production ahead, we are running this campaign with the support of Creative Partnerships Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund, and you may be inspired to help support this small adventure that we are about to embark upon.

Your donation will support essential production elements such as camera and light equipment, production design, special effects, makeup, accommodation and transport, catering, post-production and also paying the artists and professionals involved.

We hope you can join us on this ambitious project so we can send out our own funny, heartwarming and supportive message globally to not only the millions of gender diverse children around the world, but also to their families, friends, teachers and the greater community, and in doing so celebrate difference, tolerance and acceptance in a truly unique form.

 

THE TEAM

John Sheedy – Director

Ben Young – Writer

Ross McGregor – Mentor

Andre Lima – Producer

Jenny Vila – Producer

Marg Horwell – Production Designer

Kingsley Reeve – Sound Designer

Live Projects

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Projects Funded

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John Sheedy is a multi-award winning Australian Theatre Director whose work has been staged extensively throughout Australia.

In 1998, John completed his Bachelor of Dramatic Art at the National Drama School in Melbourne before completing his Masters of Fine Arts (Directing) at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in 2002. Throughout his career, John has directed productions for Belvoir Street, Bell Shakespeare, Parramatta Riverside, Black Swan State Theatre Company, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Theatre Company, Griffin and Opera Australia. In 2015, John adapted and directed The Rabbits from the novel by John Marsden and Shaun Tan, presented at the 2015 Perth International Arts Festival and 2015 Melbourne Festival. The Rabbits was the winner of four 2015 Helpmann Awards – Best Presentation for Children, Best Original Score, Best Costume Design and Best New Australian Work.

John is the current CEO and Creative Director of Theatre Works, a contemporary theatre company in the heart of St Kilda, Melbourne.

In 2017 he premiered his first film Mrs McCutcheon at the 63rd Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, where it received the Special Mention of the International Children’s Competition. Mrs McCutcheon is now running the international festival circuit.

JM

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